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Excerpt from Thorn Changer by Christy Reed
Kotua stared at the paper in front of him, tongue in cheek. He never did understand all the fancy terminology in the letters sent to his uncle. Why couldn’t they just use regular everyday words? Like “How you doing? I’m good,” or “Heard about the attack yesterday, you guys okay?”
He smiled and shook his head. “What am I thinking? Even I don’t talk like that, and he’s always correcting me. If they all started talking that way, he’d have to give up being king, and become their full-time tutor.” He grimaced. “Leaving me to do all his paperwork.”
He leaned back in the chair, and crossed his arms behind his head. He almost put his boots up on the table, until he remembered what his uncle had said the last time he’d done it, Kotua, you know that’s not how a crown prince should bear himself. I don’t believe that would make a good impression on the emperor.
He sighed at the pile of papers. He pulled a face as he mimicked his uncle. “As crown prince, you really should look at these, Kotua. They’re state papers. Examining them should give you some needed experience.”
He’d rather gain some experience in the field of dancing than of paperwork. At least he wouldn’t have to stay locked up in this stuffy room. He gazed out the window at the fields, just dusted in last night’s snow. He wished he had to gain experience in riding Forest over that plain…
He sat up with a smile. Why didn’t he just take a break? He could always come back after a ride outside. The horse could use the exercise as much as he could. His glance fell on the papers again, and his smile faded. It was an awfully tall stack. And he really should work on it. Four days, and he was barely an eighth of the way through. Maybe it’d be better to work a little longer.
But that grass… He turned back to the window. It was so green despite the snow, calling to him… The room grew stuffier.
But he had to work on those papers. “A little break won’t do any harm. I’ll just take a short ride, and then I’ll get right back to it.”
Kotua had just reached the door when it burst open. One of the footmen charged in. “Prince Kotua,” he scarcely bowed before the words poured out. “A messenger’s just arrived from Mokayi. They’ve been attacked by Foaie.”
Kotua forced himself to walk. Yes. Now this was some excitement. “Where’s the messenger?”
“In the courtyard. He’s been wounded.”
“Send him to me.”
After the footman had gone, Kotua almost danced to the audience chamber. His uncle’s advisor wasn’t here either, so that meant he would get to lead the army. What a great day this was after all.
The door opened behind him. The servant entered with the messenger leaning against him. “Here’s the soldier, my prince. He says they need more troops, and Farer, or Foaie will take Mokayi.”
Kotua looked at the panting messenger. “How did you leave the city?”
“We were in the stronghold,” the soldier gasped out. He looked up, his eyes wide. “I don’t know if they were able to hold it. They have dark hawks.”
Dark hawks? His uncle had said something about battling them before, said they were vicious birds, but Kotua had never seen one. “How many?”
With Farer to weaken the Iezomen, he could handle three dark hawks.
He turned to the footman. “Where’s Farer?”
“In the barracks, Sire, polishing that old harp of his.”
“Good, might as well have it look pretty for the scum. Tell Captain Oise to gather the horsemen. Ready my horse.”
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That's the end of Chapter Three Part Three. I hope you enjoyed it. For right now, Thorn Changer is available exclusively on Amazon. Feel free to share this excerpt, just please include all text between the asterisks (* * *), as well as a link to Thorn Changer's Amazon page. This will give your viewers a link to where they can purchase Thorn Changer if they're interested. Thanks.
Chapter Three Part Four will be available tomorrow.